Does the Baha'i Faith suffer from schizophrenia by it's very nature?

In answer to this question:

The use of the term schizophrenia may have been injudicious but it does describe the collective psychic malady that the Baha'i Faith suffers from.

During the 35 years that I was a BIGS I personally sensed this underlying malady. Every time I read something in the writings which was contradicted by actions in the lives, of the founders, of Shoghi, of the members of the UHJ I experienced this malady.

I felt it as a general sense of unease. I went through periods when I questioned whether there was something wrong with myself in that I didn't see the logic or the reasoning behind the many contradictions between the words in the writings and the actions in the lives of the central figures.

I often asked myself questions such as this: "Why remove the past religious practice of dividing humanity the pure tree from the evil tree, the people of the book form the people of infidelity and error, only to reinstate this self same religious practice in the Baha'i writings, in Baha'i religious practice?" It made no logical sense. The cognitive dissonance this set up in my life finally came to a head and I packed up all my Baha'i books, put them in Styrofoam coolers, and stuck them in the crawl space. ;^)

It is the contradictory nature of Baha'i writings, teachings, and religious practices which causes this cognitive dissonance. Teachings which are supposed to be the very words of God and which state such things as this: Whatsoever hath led the children of men to shun one another, and hath caused dissensions and divisions amongst them, hath, through the revelation of these words, been nullified and abolished. (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 95) ... teachings which go on to council and advise this very behaviour: shunning.

As well how often did Abdu'l-Baha state that we should see no enemies: Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines. (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 1) One of the teachings is that love and faithfulness must prevail in the hearts that men may see the stranger as a friend, the sinner as an intimate fellow, may count enemies as allies, regard foes as loving comrades, call their executioner the giver of life, consider the denier as a believer and the unbeliever as a faithful one -- that is, men must behave in such a manner as may befit the believers, the faithful, the friend and the confidant. (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 125) ... teachings which then go on to council and advise this very behaviour: the seeing of enemies, the drawing of lines.

The malady represented in the futile attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable nature of these clear contradictions in the Baha'i Faith may not be schizophrenic but it is unhealthy both psychically as well as spiritually.

IMHO all that afflicts the Baha'i Faith as a religion can be traced to this malady. The malady of turning a blind eye to clear contradictions and even hypocrisy. The myth of infallibility in the Baha'i religion only compounds this malady.


Larry Rowe

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